Jun
30
2017
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Industry Recognition of Percona: Great Products, Great Team

Percona

Percona’s focus on customer success pushes us to deliver the very best products, services and support. Three recent industry awards reflect our continued success in achieving these goals.

aba-logoWe recently garnered a Bronze Stevie Award “Company of the Year – Computer Software – Medium.” Stevies are some of the most coveted awards in the tech industry. Each year, more than 10,000 organizations in more than 60 nations compete for Stevies. It’s a huge honor to come away with a win.

DBTA_0_0Percona was also included in Database Trends and Applications’ (DBTA) annual DBTA 100 list of the companies that matter most in data. The directory was compiled by the editorial staff of DBTA and spotlights the companies that deal with evolving market demands through innovation in software, services, and hardware.

zippia_logo_headerNewZippia, a new website dedicated to helping recent grads with their career choices, ranked Percona in the top 10 of the “20 Best Companies To Work For In Raleigh, NC.” To compile the ranking, Zippia chose companies in a 25-mile radius that consistently get high reviews from career resource websites.  

Top CEOFinally, Percona co-founder and CEO Peter Zaitsev was honored as one of the Top Rated CEOs in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Owler. Owler looked at 167,000 leaders across 50 cities and 25 industries worldwide and identified the top 1,000. This is a huge honor for Peter!

Driven by Peter’s vision, all of us at Percona remain committed to building an excellent organization that is the champion of unbiased open source database solutions. Our continued success, growth and recognition from organizations like the above lead us to believe that the best is yet to come. Stay tuned!

Jun
30
2017
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Tintri up slightly after lowering IPO price

 Enterprise cloud company Tintri was supposed to debut on the public markets yesterday with an IPO price between $10.50 to $12.50, but then pushed things back a day and lowered its price to $7. Shares were up about 3.5 percent midday Friday, trading at roughly $7.25 per share. Read More

Jun
29
2017
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Crunch Report | Blue Apron IPO Has A Rocky Start

Crunch Report 6.29 Today’s Stories 

Blue Apron IPO off to a rough start
Microsoft confirms Cloudyn acquisition, sources say price is between $50M and $70M
Instagram implements an AI system to fight mean and harassing comments
Uber crosses the 5 billion trip milestone amid ongoing issues
A brief history of the iPhone

Credits
Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Edited by: Joe… Read More

Jun
29
2017
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How Does Percona Software Compare: the Value of Percona Software and Services

Percona Software and Services

Percona Software and ServicesIn this blog post, I’ll discuss my experience as a Solutions Engineer in explaining the value of Percona software and services to customers.

The inspiration for this blog post was a recent conversation with a prospective client. They were exploring open source software solutions and professional services for the first time. This is a fairly common and recurring conversation with individuals and enterprises exploring open source for the first time. They generally find Percona through recommendations from colleagues, or organic Google searches. One of the most common questions Percona gets when engaging at this level is, “How does Percona’s software compare with << Insert Closed-source Enterprise DB Here >>?”

We’re glad you asked. Percona’s position on this question is to explain the value of Percona in the open source space. Percona does not push a particular flavor of open source software. We recommend an appropriate solution given each of our client’s unique business and application requirements. A client coming from this space is likely to have a lengthy list of compliance, performance and scalability requirements. We love these conversations. Our focus is always on providing our customers with the best services, support, and open-source technology solutions possible.

If there were a silver bullet for every database, Percona would not have been as successful over the past 10 (almost 11!) years. We know that MongoDB, MariaDB, MySQL Enterprise, MySQL Community, Percona Server for MySQL, etc., is never the right answer 100% of the time. Our competitors in this space will most likely disagree with this assessment – because they have an incentive to sell their own software. The quality of all of these offerings is extremely high, and our customers use each of them to great success. Using the wrong database software for a particular use-case is like using a butter knife to cut a steak. You can probably make it work, but it will be a frustrating and unrewarding experience.

Usually, there are more efficient alternatives.

There is a better question to ask instead of software vs. software, which basically turns into an apples vs. oranges conversation. It’s: “Why should we partner with Percona as our business adopts more open-source software?” This is where Percona’s experience and expertise in the open-source database space shine.

Percona is invested in ensuring you are making the right decisions based on your needs. Choosing the wrong database solution or architecture can be catastrophic. A recent Ponemon study (https://planetaklimata.com.ua/instr/Liebert_Hiross/Cost_of_Data_Center_Outages_2016_Eng.pdf) estimates the average cost of downtime can be up to $8,800 per minute. Not only is downtime costly, but re-architecting your environment due to an errant choice in database solutions can be costly as well. Uber experienced these pains when using Postgres as their database solution and wrote an interesting blog post about their decision to switch back to MySQL (https://eng.uber.com/mysql-migration/). Postgres has, in turn, responded to Uber recently (http://thebuild.com/presentations/uber-perconalive-2017.pdf). The point of bringing up this high-profile switch is not to take sides, but to highlight the breadth of knowledge necessary to navigate the open source database environment. Given its complexity, the necessity of a trusted business partner with unbiased recommendations should be apparent.

This is where Percona’s experience and expertise in the open source database space shines. Percona’s only investors are its customers, and our only customers are those using our services. Because of this, our core values are intertwined with customer success and satisfaction. This strategy trickles down through support, to professional services and all the way to the engineering team, where efforts are focused on developing software and features that provide the most value to customers as a whole.

Focusing on a business partner in the open source space is a much more important and worthwhile effort than focusing on a software provider. Percona has hands-on, practical experience with a varying array of open-source technologies in the MySQL, MariaDB, and MongoDB ecosystems. We’ve tracked our ability to assist our customer’s efficiencies in their databases and see a 30% efficiency improvement on average with some cases seeing a 10x boost in performance of their database. (https://www.percona.com/blog/2016/07/20/value-database-support/). The open source software itself has proven itself time and again to be the choice of billion dollar industries. Again, there is not one universal choice among companies. There are success stories that run the gamut of open source software solutions.

To summarize, there’s a reason we redirect the software vs. software question. It’s not because we don’t like talking about how great our software is (it is great, and holds it own with other open source offerings). It’s because the question does not highlight Percona’s value. Percona doesn’t profit from its software. Supporting the open-source ecosystem is our goal. We are heavily invested in providing our customers with the right open source software solution for their situation regardless of whether it is ours or not. Our experience and expertise in this space make us the ideal partner for businesses adopting more open source technology in place of enterprise-licensed models.

Jun
29
2017
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Adobe releases analytics tools for conversational AI

 It’s still hard to say if the voice-controlled aluminum can will be the next smartphone or the next Segway, but either way, brands are preparing. This morning Adobe launched a new set of analytics tools, Adobe Sensei for Voice, to help brands take advantage of conversational data to improve targeting and, ideally, conversions.
Adobe says it can consume data from Alexa, Siri, Google… Read More

Jun
29
2017
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AppDynamics update pinpoints performance issues inside Docker containers

 AppDynamics released an update today with a nod toward the growing trend of containerization. The company, which was purchased by Cisco earlier this year for $3.7 billion, wants to help customers using Docker containers pinpoint performance issues. Read More

Jun
29
2017
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Kinetica scores $50 million Series A for super-charged in-memory database solution

 Kinetica’s roots as a company go back to a 2009 consulting project for US intelligence services. When they couldn’t find a solution on the market to meet the strict demands of the army and NSA to track terrorists in real-time, they decided to build it. Today, it’s an in-memory database solution that relies on commodity hardware running Nvidia GPUs to supercharge the processing.… Read More

Jun
28
2017
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Nutanix introduces two new tools in quest to simplify hybrid cloud management

 Nutanix began as a storage company, but always had a broader view of the computing world. As company president Sudeesh Nair told me, they started with storage because they believed legacy storage was holding back data center transformation. Today the company made another step beyond that initial vision, introducing two new products that they see as part of a larger hybrid cloud operating system. Read More

Jun
28
2017
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MySQL Encryption at Rest – Part 2 (InnoDB)

MySQL Encryption at Rest

MySQL Encryption at RestWelcome to Part 2 in a series of blog posts on MySQL encryption at rest. This post covers InnoDB tablespace encryption.

At Percona, we work with a number of clients that require strong security measures for PCI, HIPAA and PHI compliance, where data managed by MySQL needs to be encrypted “at rest.” As with all things open source, there several options for meeting the MySQL encryption at rest requirement. In this three-part series, we cover several popular options of encrypting data and present the various pros and cons to each solution. You may want to evaluate which parts of these tutorials work best for your situation before using them in production.

Part one of this series covered implementing disk-level encryption using crypt+LUKS.

In this post, we discuss InnoDB tablespace encryption (TE). You can choose to use just LUKS, just InnoDB TE, or you can use both. It depends on your compliance needs and your configuration. For example, say you put your binary logs and InnoDB redo logs on partition X, and your InnoDB tablespaces (i.e., your .ibd files) on partition Y. InnoDB TE only handles encrypting the tablespaces. You would need to use LUKS on partition X to encrypt those files.

InnoDB Tablespace Encryption Tutorial

The manual describes InnoDB encryption as follows:

InnoDB tablespace encryption uses a two-tier encryption key architecture, consisting of a master encryption key and tablespace keys. When an InnoDB table is encrypted, a tablespace key is encrypted and stored in the tablespace header. When an application or authenticated user wants to access encrypted tablespace data, InnoDB uses a master encryption key to decrypt the tablespace key. The decrypted version of a tablespace key never changes, but you can change the master encryption key as required. This action is referred to as master key rotation.

As a real-world example, picture a high-school janitor’s key-chain. Each key is different; each key works for only one door (or in MySQL’s case, table). The keys themselves never change, but the label on each key can change based on how the janitor wants to note which key works on which door. At any time, the janitor can re-label the keys with special names, thwarting any hooligans from opening doors they shouldn’t be opening.

Configuration Changes

As noted above, InnoDB uses a keyring to manage encryption keys on a per-table basis. But you must load the keyring plugin before InnoDB. Add the following lines to your my.cnf under the [mysqld] section. You may substitute a different path for the keyring file, but be sure that mysqld has permissions to this path:

early-plugin-load = keyring_file.so
keyring_file_data = /var/lib/mysql-keyring/keyring

You do not need to restart MySQL at this time, but you can if you wish. These settings are for when you restart MySQL in the future.

Install the Keyring Plugin in MySQL

If you don’t wish to restart MySQL at this time, you can still continue. Run the following SQL statements within MySQL to load the plugin and configure the keyring file:

mysql> INSTALL PLUGIN keyring_file SONAME 'keyring_file.so';
mysql> SET GLOBAL keyring_file_data = '/var/lib/mysql-keyring/keyring';

You can now CREATE encrypted tables or ALTER existing tables to encrypt them with a simple command:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (c1 INT) ENCRYPTION='Y';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)
mysql> ALTER TABLE users ENCRYPTION='Y';
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.04 sec)

Be careful with the above ALTER: It will most likely block all other transactions during this conversion.

Encrypting Tables Using pt-online-schema-change

Using pt-online-schema-change is fairly straightforward. While it has many options, the most basic usage to encrypt a single table is the following:

pt-online-schema-change --execute --alter "engine=innodb encryption='Y'" D=mydb,t=mytab

pt-online-schema-change creates an encrypted, shadow copy of the table mytab. Once the table is populated with the original data, it drop-swaps the table and replaces the original table with the new one.

It is always recommended to first run pt-online-schema-change with the --dry-run flag first, in order to validate the command and the change.

Encrypting All Tables in a Database

To encrypt all the tables in a database, we can simply take the above command and wrap it in a shell loop. The loop is fed a list of tables in the database from MySQL. You just need to change the dbname variable:

# dbname=mydb
# mysql -B -N -e "SELECT TABLE_NAME FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA='$dbname' and TABLE_TYPE='BASE TABLE'" |
while read line; do pt-online-schema-change --execute --alter "engine=innodb encryption='Y'" D=$dbname,t=$line; done

Be careful with the above command, as it will take off and blast through all the changes!

Rotating InnoDB Encryption Keys

Your compliance policy dictates how often you need to rotate the encryption keys within InnoDB:

mysql> ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE INNODB MASTER KEY;

This command creates a new key, decrypts all encrypted tablespace headers (where you store the per-table key) using the previous key, and then re-encrypts the headers with the new key. Notice that the table itself is not re-encrypted. This would be an extremely intrusive and potentially dangerous operation. Recall above that each tables’ encryption key never changes (unless the entire table gets decrypted). What can change is the key used to encrypt that key within each tables’ header.

The keyring UDFs in MySQL

The keyring plugin can also be used to store sensitive data within MySQL for later retrieval. This functionality is beyond the scope of this blog as it doesn’t deal directly with InnoDB TE. You can read more about it in the MySQL manual.

Conclusion

InnoDB Tablespace Encryption makes it easy to use MySQL encryption at rest. Keep in mind the downsides of using only TE: InnoDB tablespace encryption doesn’t cover undo logs, redo logs or the main ibdata1 tablespace. Additionally, InnoDB encryption doesn’t cover binary-logs and slow-query-logs.

Jun
28
2017
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Intercom lands former Intuit exec Karen Peacock as its new COO

Karen Peacock, COO at Intercom Intercom, a business messaging tool that enables companies to communicate directly with customers in an online context, announced today that it has hired former Intuit SVP Karen Peacock as company COO.
She joined the company May 30th, but they are making the news public for the first time today.
Peacock comes with an impressive resume that starts with a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford. Read More

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